Wrath of the Eternal Warrior provides a very different perspective on the Valiant mainstay. First arc Risen is now available in a collected edition.
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior picks up where Book of Death left off. Having sacrificed himself, once again, in service to the Geomancer, Gilad Anni-Pada enjoys a sojourn in the afterlife, where he’s reunited with loved ones. But his sense of duty compels him to return to the world of the living. So he endures a hellish gamut and showdown with a powerful demon to return from the afterlife.
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior is a rather fascinating character sketch of Gilad. Writer Robert Venditti dreams up a rather ingenious explanation for Gilad’s long life, including the terrible choices and torments he endures to fulfill his vows to protect the Earth. It’s a unique perspective on the character, one that peels back the reserved layer so often associated with him. Venditti delves into what motivates Gilad and what his choices cost him. The journey back from the other side is an imaginative device that infuses some high stakes action into the story. Venditti may craft an iconic Eternal Warrior story with Risen. It’s textured, creative work from one of Valiant’s core writers.
The art team of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin brings strong visuals to Wrath of the Eternal Warrior. The “paradise” scenes featuring Gilad with his family have a soft, warm glow to them, effectively depicting the reward that could await the hero were he willing to embrace it. Those scenes make for a powerful contrast with the dark, twisted hellscapes the artists craft for Gilad’s gauntlet back to the living world. They wrap shadows and muted colors around challenging perspectives, creative design work and powerful compositions. Some of the imagery is rather shocking (especially a two-page spread of Gilad that deliberately evokes crucifixion), but it all enhances the storytelling. It’s striking work that really sells the fantasy elements and emotional power of the book.
For existing Valiant fans, Wrath of the Eternal Warrior is almost mandatory. But even for newer readers, Risen provides an intriguing point of entry.
Originally published at thunderalleybcpcom.ipage.com on June 6, 2016.